Fukushima Radiation Tested for Along Pacific Coast

By: Brian Powell - June 27, 2014

In March of 2011, a 9.0 earthquake in the Pacific triggered a tsunami which hit the coast of Japan, nearly demolishing the Fukushima nuclear power plant and resulting in huge amounts of radiation being washed into the ocean. In the three years since the event occurred, not much fall-out has been seen from the nuclear waste. However, many coastal cities and towns are starting to worry that the time is nigh for the radiation to be impacting the Pacific Coast of the United States.

“We’ve been worried about it and worried about it. We’re really concerned about it affecting the fisheries, the wildlife, the tourism, and most importantly our health,” stated Zac Adams, owner of Bandon Designs construction company.

If scientific time-tables mean anything, Adams should be worried that the radiation is going to hit the coast soon: “The predicted modeling shows that we should start to see it coming along our coastline at very low levels,” reported Lisa Phipps, executive director of the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership.

That being said, the levels of radiation reaching the western coast are insignificant, according to those studying the issue.

In order to assure the people that there is nothing to worry about, Lisa Pipps has partnered with Ken Buesseler, a chemical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Together, and with the help of many others who have donated to the cause, Buesseler has started the project, “How Radioactive is Our Ocean?”

The goal of the project is to raise enough crowd-sourced funding to help pay for water samples from the coast to be tested for evidence of radioactive elements in Buesseler’s lab back in Massachusetts. Each test costs anywhere from $550 to $600, but the project believes the cost is more than worthwhile.

“There’s a dismissive argument that well, the levels are pretty low, so why bother. The counter to that is it’s good to confirm low numbers. You build public confidence. And we can use the data to model ocean currents for the next time,” argued Buesseler.

Pipps corroborated Buesseler statement, saying that “When we took this on, it wasn’t to incite any kind of fear in people. It is a data collection effort.”

While some oceanside residents may be worried about the level of radiation in the ocean, others simply want to know the facts: “If there’s something out there that’s coming up, I would like to know,” stated fisherman Bart Baldwin.

As long as concerned residents continue to fund Buesseler’s campaign, the western coast should have all the information and preparation it needs to handle any radiation threat in the near future.

Image via YouTube

Brian Powell

About the Author

Brian PowellBrian Powell is a contract writer for WebProNews. In his day job, he is a teacher and tutor for The Princeton Review. He also serves as an assistant coach to Transylvania University's Speech and Debate team.

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  • Tracy Loew

    Brian Powell, did you interview Zac Adams and Ken Buesseler, or did you just lift quotes from my article without attribution? http://stjr.nl/1jWtXbJ
    Also, the project does not involve soil samples.

    • WatchDog

      Thank you for pointing this out.

      Powell steals whatever sections of articles he wants to spin for the industry in question. He stole from yours and twisted it. I’ve seen him do this sort of thing before. I wish Yahoo would block his articles.

  • http://earthens.net/ KyleGo

    This, to take the place of the fed, which has stopped monitoring.

  • Michelle Love

    The are NO safe levels of Cesium-137. A single inhaled particle is deadly, and this airborne contamination has circled the globe multiple times. The news regarding oceanic contamination is just as bad. 100% of Pacific Bluefin tuna have tested positive for Cesium-137. Also to be considered is the massive disease and die-offs all along the west coast of seals, walruses, sea lions, and even octopus since the triple reactor meltdowns of the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Plant on 3/11, BEFORE the tsunami and after the earthquake. The Feds stopped monitoring west coast radiation levels for a reason. END NUCLEAR POWER NOW. And please, for sanity’s sake, do a little research before you respond; unless you are a troll for the nuclear industry, then by all means- let the lies begin!

    • Arthur Doucette

      Hilarious.
      I take it you never take plane rides either?

      • Andrew

        I get the sarcasm, but it’s actually you Arthur that is emotional. In
        doing that, you’re not being scientific. 1st read some background on
        Cesium-137 here or elsewhere (see informational link). Then read futher about it (link below that), heavier on the science.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesium-137

        • Arthur Doucette

          Your Course Work reference only mentions 30 g of 137CsCl, which is a HUGE amount when in one location.

          In contrast, The biological half-life of caesium is rather short at about 70 days.

          A 1972 experiment showed that when dogs are subjected to a whole body burden of 3800 μCi/kg (140 MBq/kg, or approximately 44 μg/kg) of caesium-137 (and 950 to 1400 rads), they die within thirty-three days, while animals with half of that burden all survived for a year.

          So the writer is clearly wrong.

          22 μg/kg of Caesium-137 which is 70 MBq/kg, which is a huge burden, is not fatal.

          Secondly as the article pointed out caesium-137 is the principal source of radiation in the zone of alienation around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant

          .
          So do a search on the very HEALTHY Wildlife now living around Chernobyl and its clear that radiation, while harmful at high doses, is not something animals can’t handle at these low doses.
          No surprise.
          We evolved on a fairly radioactive planet.

  • Arthur Doucette

    3 years and Zip radiation.
    When will paranoid morons quit with their fear mongering is the question?